Beware new legislation if your business depends on online reviews and sales

As part of the digital markets, competition and consumers bill currently progressing through parliament, fake reviews and unavoidable hidden online charges – which cost consumers £2.2bn a year – are to be banned.

In future mandatory fees must be included in the headline price or at the start of the shopping process, including booking fees for cinema and train tickets.

According to a Guardian report: “drip pricing, where consumers are shown an initial cost only to find unavoidable fees added later, is widespread.

“More than half of entertainment providers, 56% of the hospitality industry, and 72% of the transport and communication sectors use the practice, according to the government.”

Which? also reports that “fake reviews on sites such as Amazon, Google and Trustpilot are still thriving on Facebook.

While it welcomed the announcement Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “Further action may be needed to tackle the range of sneaky pricing tactics used to bump up the advertised price in areas like flight bookings.”